December 16, 2016 (JUBA)- South Sudan president Salva Kiir said Friday he hopes the 2017 would be a year of peace, reconciliation and forgiveness, declaring his willingness to extend amnesty to armed opposition to participation in his recently announced national dialogue to end more than two years conflict in the young nation.
- President Salva Kiir adresses a joint press conference on 9 July 2016 (Reuters Photo)
"I hope the coming year would be a year of peace, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness. And I therefore called on the people of this country to embrace one another. We fought together in order to have a country. We didn’t fight together so that when we have got our country in our own hands, we destroy it. That is not the meaning of liberation. If this was the meaning, then I am sure some people like me would not have been part of such liberation”, president Kiir told a group of senior government officials who paid him a courtesy call at presidential palace on Friday.
The group comprising imminent personalities and Like’s advisers congratulated him for launching a national dialogue aimed at resolving differences between people at different levels.
South Sudan’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang said Friday that the government would accept the outcome of the national dialogue; saying it was the only way to end conflict.
“I fully agree with what the president told me recently that war is not a substitute to dialogue. This shows how interested he is in bringing this conflict to an end so that the country returns to peace and stability," Junk told Sudan Tribune in the capital, Juba.
He added, "You can also see that the president has also demonstrated his willingness to the end this conflict by personally accepting those still carrying arms against the government to come and participate in the dialogue, which is the only people resolve their difference."
Violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 when the country’s rival leaders disagreed politically. Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced.